Get to know the Oyster Tempo cooler better. Here is some useful information we have compiled about using and maintaining your Tempo cooler. 

The Oyster Tempo cooler's parts

The Tempo Cooler's parts

Here is a quick breakdown of the user-serviceable parts of the Tempo cooler. It is split into the main sub-assemblies.

The Tub

The Tub parts

The Lid

The Lid parts

The Unimount Key

The Unimount Key parts

First time using the Tempo cooler

Use the Tempo however you want! But here is a list of a few simple things you can do that will give you the best thermal performance.

Our recommendations


  • Keep the cooler out of the sun and preferably inside when in not in use.

  • Use food and drinks already cooled to fridge temperature where possible; cooling down cold-storage contents from room temperature requires a lot of energy and will be an unnecessary drain of the Ice Packs.


  • Place most temperature sensitive goods in the bottom of the cooler

  • For extended storage time, use Ice Packs in the bottom of the cooler


  • Keep the cooler out of the sun where possible. Any object left in direct sunlight will have a noticeably higher surface temperature than the air temperature around it. For a cooler, a higher outer surface temperature will reduce its storage time.

  • Keep the lid closed when not accessing the contents

After use:

  • Clean away any moisture or food residue and wait until dry

  • Place any used Ice Packs back in the freezer for re-charging

  • Store the Tempo cooler in a cool and dry spot ready for your next adventure

What other factors affect the storage time?

There are two main factors, independent of the cooler itself, that will affect the usable storage time when using any cooler.

The most important factor is the difference in temperature between the air outside and the contents on the inside of the cooler. A greater temperature difference will reduce the time the cooler can keep its contents chilled. The second most important factor is the amount of chilled contents inside the cooler; including food, drinks, ice packs and ice cubes. The more the cooler is filled with chilled contents, the more this will help to slow the temperature increase inside the cooler.

That was the simple explanation, but now we get a little technical. All coolers have insulating properties that give them their own specific rate of heat transfer between inside and outside. A lower rate of heat transfer means a better insulating performance. But this heat transfer rate multiplies with each degree (Celcius) of temperature difference between the inside and the outside. As a simple example, if you have a temperature of 4°C (39°F) inside the cooler and an outside temperature of 14°C (57°F), this gives you a 10°C temperature difference. If the outside temperature then increases to 24°C (75°F), the temperature difference is now 20°C, or 2x what it originally was. This will mean that the actual heat loss will also be 2x what it was before and the cooler will only keep the contents cold for half the time. To combat this, more ice contents can be used to balance out the increased temperature difference.

Do I need to pre-cool the Tempo?

No, the Tempo cooler does not need to be pre-cooled.

Pre-cooling is a concept that has been promoted to combat heavier, thermally-sluggish plastic hard coolers. These hard coolers require a lot of thermal energy just to cool them down; long before the job of keeping your food and drinks cold even starts. Pre-cooling is essentially a helpful but time-consuming workaround for a sub-optimal thermal construction.

The reason the Oyster Tempo does not need pre-cooling is due to two things; the specific materials chosen for the shell walls and core insulation, and the total weight of those materials. Our internal shell is made of aluminum. By weight, aluminum requires roughly 2.5x less thermal energy than Polyethylene (the most typical hard cooler shell material) to affect a change in its temperature. Aluminum also transfers thermal energy very efficiently. That combination means that very little energy is used from a Ice Pack, ice cubes, or just the chilled contents themselves to cool down the Tempo’s internal storage, and that that energy transfer happens very quickly; within just a few short minutes. We call this thermal agility.

Ice Packs, ice cubes or no ice?

Can I use any ice pack with the Tempo cooler?

The Tempo cooler is optimized for use with ice packs and, yes, any ice pack will help to keep the Tempo colder for longer. For an optimal experience, Oyster's own Ice Packs have been designed specifically to fill the entire bottom surface of the Tempo cooler and with a low-profile to minimize use of valuable storage space. The large surface area in contact with the base of the storage compartment maximizes heat transfer to the aluminum inner shell. Oyster Ice Packs also have a melting temperature slightly lower than pure water in order to maintain the internal storage space at a temperature at or as close to food safe temperature 39°F (4°C).

Can I use ice cubes with the Tempo cooler?

Of course. But if you have access to a freezer and are planning for a shorter trip of 1-3 days, then you really shouldn’t need to. Melted ice leaves your food wet and soggy, sloshes around when you carry the cooler, and is a mess to empty at the end of your trip. If you must use ice, we recommend keeping the ice in a water-tight bag placed in the bottom. This will make cleaning at the end of your trip much easier. Using ice cubes can be a hard habit to break, but we promise it is worth it!

Can I use the Tempo cooler without any ice?

Yes, depending on your specific usage you may not need to use any Ice Packs (or ice) at all! Many day trips with the Tempo work completely fine without any Ice Packs. But this all depends on the outside temperature, how much food and drink you are keeping cold, and how cold it needs to stay over the duration of the trip. Generally speaking, the less food and drink you have in your cooler, the more susceptible it will be to change in temperature and the higher the chance you will need a Ice Pack to maintain a stable internal temperature.

How do Ice Packs or ice cubes actually work?

OK, get comfortable, this gets a little nerdy. Everyone knows that ice is cold, and that ice in a cooler makes it last longer. But the secret to using ice or ice packs in coolers isn't simply due to the fact that the ice is cold, but is instead mainly due to what happens when the ice melts. This is a thermodynamics principle called phase change.

In simple terms, ice cubes and ice packs work by "absorbing" heat energy entering the cooler from the external surroundings. The bulk of this energy is absorbed during the melting of solid ice to liquid water. It is this melting process which is a form of phase change. You may not have heard of phase change but you have almost certainly heard of melting, so you're halfway there. During the melting of ice, very large amounts of heat energy must be absorbed by the ice to change it from a solid to liquid water. All this energy is absorbed without the water/ice actually changing temperature much at all. It stays around 32°F (0°C). So the ice melting stops the temperature increase until the melting process is complete. Once all the ice has melted to water, the water is no longer capable of absorbing so much energy as the melting ice. At this point, the main benefit of the ice or ice pack is essentially used up.

Energy percentage converting Ice from 0F to +39F

In order to recharge the Ice Pack, the phase change process must be reversed. Or in simple terms, the water in the Ice Pack is re-frozen in your freezer, ready for use another day.

Carry options

All 1st Edition Tempo Cooler bundles are supplied with both a rigid metal carry handle and an adjustable nylon carry strap. These two can be easily exchanged depending on your intended usage. The rigid handle is handy for short carrying distances such as to-and-from a car. For carrying longer distances the strap is perhaps a better option; where it can be slung over your shoulder and leave your hands free.

Mounting the Carry Handle

Installing the Tempo handle step-by-step

The cooler is designed with Unimount attachments on each end of the Tub for mounting of different carry options. To mount the metal Carry Handle, place it sideways, below the frame and move it into place so the two openings on each end are stretched over the Unimount. Make sure the plastic spacer parts are in place and that the handle sits correctly in the Unimount. Then use the two quarter turn Unimount Keys to lock the handle in place at both ends.

Mount the Carry Strap

Installing the Tempo Strap step-by-step

The process of mounting the Strap is similar to the metal Carry Handle. Check that both Strap Mount parts are correctly positioned in the Unimount, with the plastic spacers before locking in place.

Facts and Figures

Internal storage capacity

Tempo internal size and storage capacity (US)

The cooler has an internal storage capacity of 24.3 US quarts (23 liters). The internal storage has dimensions of W 16.3 x D 8.3 x H 10" (W 41.5 x D 21.2 x H 26.8cm) and has rounded corners on the side walls equal roughly to the size of a standard drink can. This equates to 36x standard 12 fl oz. cans (335ml), with enough space for 2x Oyster Ice Packs placed in the bottom. Slimline cans or larger can sizes will have a different storage factor.

External size and weight

Tempo Cooler external dimensions

The Tub’s external dimensions at the base are W 17.9 x D 9.8 x H 12.6" (W 45.4 x D 25 x H 32cm). When you include the mounting frame, handle and rubber feet, the dimensions at the extremities are W 20.1 x D 11.8 x H 12.6" (W 51.2 x D 30 x H 32cm). The external volume of the cooler is just 37 quarts (35 liters). The Tempo cooler including the carry handle weighs 12.1lbs (5.5kg).

Cleaning and maintenance

Cleaning the cooler

The anodized aluminum surface can be wiped clean easily. We recommend cleaning the cooler’s internal storage with a damp cloth after use. Then simply wait for the inner storage surfaces to air dry before closing the lid. This will ensure it is fresh, clean and ready to go when your next adventure comes around. For larger spills or food leftovers, use a paper towel to first soak up excess spills and then warm soapy water to wash and wipe off any residue.

Cleaning the Ice Packs

We recommend basic cleaning the ice pack with a dry cloth after use to remove any moisture from condensation. For spillages or food residue, the ice packs can be hand-washed in warm water with detergent then rinsed in clean water. Make sure to dry off excess water on the outside of the Ice packs before placing them in the freezer, to avoid unnecessary frozen water droplets on the outside of the ice packs. This will also minimize condensation buildup in the storage compartment when using your cooler next time.

Removing sand from the Latch

Sometimes it can get windy at the beach, and sand can get everywhere. If you hear scraping noises coming when opening and closing the latch, there may be some sand trapped in there. This can often be rinsed out with water. Failing that, the Latch and Latch Pins can be removed completely from the lid for a deep clean and re-assembly. Please see section below for disassembly information.


My Unimount Key doesn’t lock out properly

This problem is likely caused by a Unimount Key Pin that has shifted and is no longer centered. Typically you will see this as a Unimount Key that does not sit straight in the Unimount, but is instead at an angle.

Center the Unimount Pin step-by-step

Firstly, do not force the Key if it feels stuck. It should be able to be installed and removed with relatively low force, but will remain solidly in place during use. To fix a Key not locking out, rotate the Unimount Key so that the TEMPO text is vertical, then gently pull outwards to remove the Key from the Unimount. Inspect the Pin position. If it is not centered, simply push the pin back into a centered position with a thumb or finger and try again.

The plastic spacer for the handle has popped off. How do I fix it?

In some instances in our 1st Edition Tempo, the small snap-fit spacers fitting around the mounting points for the handle and strap can pop out during installation on to the Unimount.

Unimount Spacer assembly

If this happens, take the two spacer pieces and re-fit them over the hole. They will snap back into place. If they have fallen off and you cannot find them, get in touch with us and we can arrange replacement parts. 

Disassembly, reassembly & replacing parts

Disassembling the Latch

Useful for deep clean if sand or other impurities are stuck between moving parts, or for replacement of parts for any reason. To re-assemble follow these steps in reverse order.

Disassembling the Latch parts ste-by-step

Assembling the Seal

Method of re-applying the EVA seal after a deep clean to ensure correct fitment on the Tub.

Assembling the Seal to the Tub

Assembling the Lid Fix parts

Method of re-mounting the Lid Fix parts to the Tub after a deep clean or after part replacement. To disassemble follow these steps in reverse order.

Installing the Lid Fix parts

Assembling the Unimount Key

Method of re-assembling the parts of the Unimount Key after a deep clean or in case of part replacement. To disassemble follow these steps in reverse order.

Assembling the Unimount Key

Assembling the Handle

Method of assembling the rigid metal Carry Handle.

Assembling the Tempo Carry Handle

Assembling the Strap

Method of assembling the adjustable Carry Strap.

Assembling the Carry Strap step-by-step